BBC Issues Report On Proposed Service Cuts
March 2, 2010 at 4:21 AM (PT)
In a 64 page report released TODAY (3/2), the BBC has officially announced a series of planned budget cuts that includes the closing of two digital radio stations, Triple A BBC 6MUSIC and THE ASIAN NETWORK. The company also plans to cut its web budget by 25% (with content on the web reduced by half), put restrictions on sports rights commitments and foreign television program purchases, and sell off some of its magazine properties. Senior management will see a 25% pay cut by 2013, and 18% of senior management jobs will be cut. 600 million pounds will be invested in "high-quality" programming.
The controversial cuts will be subject to a public comment period by the BBC TRUST, with initial comments due by MAY 25th. The cuts have triggered a backlash among fans of the targeted radio stations, especially 6MUSIC.
In its introduction appended to the BBC's formal proposal, the BBC TRUST said that it supports the BBC's setting "five clear content priorities: the best journalism in the world; inspiring knowledge, music and culture; ambitious UK drama and comedy; outstanding children's content; events that bring communities and the nation together"; maximizing the portion of the license fee spent on content; "a more distinctive online service"; the repositioning of RADIO 2 towards older listeners; more money for children's services; and the sports rights strategy. Other elements of the proposal are in the category of things the TRUST wants to consider further.